Rain de­lays bowlers’ op­por­tu­nity to shine

The Herald - Herald Sport - - CRICKET - HENRY MCCALL

AUS­TRALIA’S sec­ond-string bowlers were de­prived of the chance to make a mean­ing­ful con­tri­bu­tion on day two of the tour match against Der­byshire af­ter rain wiped out the fi­nal two ses­sions.

With front­line pace trio Mitchell John­son, Mitchell Starc and Josh Ha­zle­wood rested for next week’s third Ashes Test, Pat Cum­mins and Peter Sid­dle have been given a chance to make an im­pres­sion in Derby.

Cum­mins is tak­ing part in his maiden first-class game in nearly two years and just his sev­enth over­all due to a spate of in­juries, and he claimed a wicket as Der­byshire reached 81 for two be­fore the lunch break.

How­ever, rain set in at the 3aaa County Ground dur­ing the lunch in­ter­val and showed no signs of abat­ing by the time um­pires Chris Gaf­faney and Tom Lun­g­ley aban­doned play for the day at 3pm.

The tourists, hav­ing racked up 413 for nine on the first day thanks to cen­turies from open­ing bats­men David Warner and Shaun Marsh, de­clared their in­nings overnight in or­der to give their bowlers some prac­tice.

It was a watch­ful start from Der­byshire openers Ben Slater and Hamish Rutherford, with Sid­dle keep­ing things char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally tight – con­ced­ing just one run from his first five overs.

Just as the Der­byshire bats­men ap­peared to have seen off the dan­ger, Cum­mins made the break­through when New Zealand in­ter­na­tional Rutherford edged be­hind for 14.

Slater only con­trib­uted 20 be­fore tope­dg­ing to Adam Vo­ges in the slips, giv­ing Shane Wat­son his first wicket of the tour.

Wat­son’s in­ef­fec­tive­ness with the ball dur­ing Aus­tralia’s de­feat to Eng­land in the Ashes opener at Cardiff was one of the fac­tors for his ax­ing be­fore the sec­ond match at Lord’s last week.

At HQ, his re­place­ment Mitchell Marsh made a cou­ple of big break­throughs as Aus­tralia waltzed to a 405-run win to level the se­ries, although the young all-rounder was wick­et­less in his seven overs on Fri­day.

Der­byshire cap­tain Wayne Mad­sen and young bats­man Scott El­stone took the hosts through to lunch with­out fur­ther loss be­fore the in­clement weather came in and washed out play for the re­main­der of the day.

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